The amount of web series and video creators currently online is at an all-time high with more arriving every day. It’s getting harder and harder to game the YouTube algorithm and Vimeo, while a great place for creators ain’t exactly changing many filmmaker’s lives (not to say it hasn’t made some great careers, just a narrow success rate on that platform).
To get an idea of what the average web series creator is up against, over 500 hours of content is uploaded every minute on YouTube. Think on that for a second.
So how does the average filmmaker get ahead? How does the average creator gain the influence necessary to get paid to create the work they’ve always wanted to be known for?
Before I give you some tactics, let’s outline what success looks like for a second. There are two types of audiences and both are effective. This plan is not designed to make you a YouTuber or IG sensation, this is designed to give you leverage in the industry and at the buying table. To say it bluntly, this is designed to get studio executives and sponsors to give you the greenlight. Let me cavoite, neither of these audiences is better than the other. Just different tactics and end points.
Wide: A wide audience has big numbers and relies on a certain percentage of those people watching your stuff. It’s the one everyone gets attracted to and craves to build. The majority of the people in those audiences, however, watch only a little or none of the media, but because the numbers are so big (say over 100k) that creator can guarantee that a certain percentage will watch
Deep: A deep audience is a smaller, niche audience that is highly engaged and vocal. This means that when a creator posts, a much larger percentage of this audience engages with the media and in fact takes further action by commenting and sharing.
Distributors and sponsors are actually attracted to both. Why, because both prove results. The wide audience says you were able to get a large number of people to take a few actions and the deep audience says you were able to get a smaller audience to take a lot of actions. Both have monetary value to distribs and sponsors as well as the filmmaker.
Both distributors and sponsors aren’t just after views, after all, a view can be as little as 5 seconds. What the really want is engagement and engagement means deeper action (think shares, comments and watching entire video). Those deeper actions mean the audience is doing their work for them. Longer watch times means more ad units viewed which means more revenue. More shares means larger audience. More comments means more relevant keywords making the content more searchable and easily found.
Let’s get real here for a minute. Most web series creators don’t take up enough space on the internet, so their content isn’t easily found. The reason being, they only post consistently when they’re trying to launch their film or series and that’s what, every six to nine months? Even then, it for about two weeks and then it’s heads down again. Simply, the internet doesn’t react too favorably to that. It’s always looking for the newest, most consistently posted and most relevant.
Below is a strategy you can implement to get highly motivated and focused audiences around you as a filmmaker and your work.
- · Know your niche – Allows the market (the greater film industry) to have a clear understanding of what you make and what your vision is. People who make comedy one day and sci-fi the next are hard to buy because there is not a clear vision of what they make and what their particular voice is.
- · Be seen as an expert – Makes it easier for the industry to pay you. They know exactly what their getting. People trust experts and actually seek them out. The media will interview you. Other experts will want to collaborate with you. Simply, experts make more money.
- · Post a s#!t ton more content – Content creators who are succeeding post a TON of content. For the most part, this is a benchmark for a typical content posting schedule:
- 2 long-form Facebook posts/wk
- 1-2 blog post/wk
- 1-2 YouTube videos/wk
- 4-7 Instagram posts/day
§ Must include a short blog style post underneath and use all 30 hashtags
- Join at least 2 Twitter conversations/day
- · Constantly direct your audience to take action – Tell them exactly where you want them to go and what action you want them to take. Don’t be afraid to tell them to click that link, share, repost. They won’t do if you don’t ask.
I get it, you’re probably asking yourself, “when do I have time to create all this content. The reality is that in today’s crowded content world both quantity and quality are what is needed to generate audience. I wish I had a better answer than ‘time management”, but that’s the key. Posting every two weeks just won’t cut it.
In the end, we don’t live in the days when talent is enough. The shear volume of great content to choose from is too great, so we MUST create and implement a content strategy that is smarter and more effective than, “Hey you, watch my s#!t”!
Have a great holiday Stareable-ers and a prospuous new year. KEEP CREATING!